Posts in 1st Reading
First Reading, 2019 vol. 2

There’s so much to read and watch in the news this week and I promise not to mention impeachment or Syria here. Both extremely important discussions to be had - but for today I’d like to focus on these ladylike - headlines from the last few weeks - mostly read during 2 AM feedings #fourthtrimester

  • Why Only a Woman Can Win a Debate Against Trump, according to Hillary’s former sparring partner. I loved this quote, “Democrats need someone whose natural self matches up well against Trump’s preternatural self. Someone who can calmly respond to him but—and here’s the hard part—does not respond to his attacks with a faux-macho mirror image.”

First Reading, 2019 vol. 1

How can it be that my first “First Reading” post of the year is being written in June? Color me embarrassed, but also color me a lobbyist and it’s #sinedie yal. So yes, here we are. I’m traveling as usual - writing this from always sunny Philadelphia. But now that I’m not pouring over bill trackers and hopping on last minute strategy calls I have time to share some of the news and thoughts of the moment.

It feels good to be here. If you’re new to Pink Granite as I suspect many folks may be - welcome. I’m so happy you’re here too.

Let’s get to some quick reads and interesting bits.

Texas News

National Drama

I hate to perpetuate this fighting and I’m not normally an advocate for Nancy Pelosi but I do believe that she handles her role as a female (yes I’m going there) Speaker of the House masterfully. She’s raised children and as a result seems to handle the White House just fine.

Frivolous and Fun

  • Did you know drowning your guacamole may just keep it greener longer? This is the truth according to Real Simple magazine.

  • If you’re not following @things.I.bought.and.liked on Instagram you’re truly missing out. Sarah is a delight - a delight that may leave you poorer than you were before this post. She’s from Houston and is that friend that researches little things we may not always need but make life easier, prettier and at times more fun. It’s all very low key and her commentary is solid gold.

That’s probably enough for now, let’s ease back into this thing shall we?

January Was a Tough Year

We’re still 113 days until sine die and things seem to be moving more quickly than in the past. Committees are already in place and budget hearings begin next week. Don’t hold me to it but the biggest issues this session are expected to be property tax bills, school choice and school (gun) safety. Plus everything else you and/or your boss or clients care about.

In a very un-2019 move, the House Republican Caucus floor leadership is comprised of white men. Oh - and once again there is only one woman seated on the caucus policy committee. Thanks to Representative Noble for representing all the ladies.

Now that that's over...

Let us get back to it all. The election is behind us. No one needs me to recap that the Texas Tribune did a great job here. Debt is being retired as. we. speak. and everyone is moving on - including Beto. It certainly was the year of the woman across the country. Let’s hope that doesn’t have to be a think again. In the best news I saw all day, NPR highlighted Susan B. Anthony’s gravestone being flooded with I Voted stickers.

There are three more women in the Texas house than last session, although Carol Alvarado is making a move for Texas Senate and is largely expected to soon move to the “upper” chamber. Two other ladies canceled one another out in the Senate with Beverly Powell unseating Senator Konni Burton. We lost Linda Koop in the Beto wave but hung on to Sarah Davis down in Houston despite the Governor’s best efforts to unseat her.

In the last month the Speaker’s race was all anyone was talking about, and then suddenly it was wrapped up with a neat little bow. Those involved closely will argue it was nothing of the tidy kind, and let’s just say it - no women filed for the job (deep sigh). Nonetheless I’m impressed with solidarity and organization in November. Representative Dennis Bonnen and Lt. Governor Patrick even shared a press release to announce a commitment to working together. Representative Stickland is even tweeting his support of Bonnen as well. It IS the most wonderful time of the year.

Presumptive Speaker, Representative Dennis Bonnen has named his longtime Chief of Staff Shera Eichler to serve as Director of the Office of the Speaker so a big Pink Granite high five to her.

Here’s what I’ve been screenshot-ing this month, while clearly avoiding the effort of an actual post. I hope its not stale now.

  • The Boy Scouts let girls in, and the Girls Scouts sued. Equality can be hard. Via The New York Times.

  • If you’re really missing a midterm break down, consider Samantha Bee’s effort. P.S. Harris County elected not one or two but 17 black women to judicial seats. Here’s another nice breakdown on the women running in Texas this year via the Texas Tribune.

  • Vogue asks why the white girls keep voting against their “own interests.” Read more here. Do you agree? The NYT tells us it was a banner year for women - except those in the GOP.

  • CBS News on Americans being more comfortable with women as executives than as lawmakers. Hmmm… what do other rich countries think about women in power? Via Reuters.

  • As a mother should you be able to file childcare as a campaign expense? Spoiler alert - that’s a yes. For any primary caregiver IMHO.

  • In a very House of Cards style one Supreme Court Justice fell and broke some ribs but the Notorious RBG bounced right back.

1st ReadingAmy WhitedComment
First Reading, 2018 vol. 19

I’ll be trotting over to Atlanta today - and in a shocking turn of events I’ve actually pre-organized some blog posts for the group. I think this is what “real” bloggers do so I’m giving it a whirl. So if you see something you like this week please do let me know - use that comments section. And if by the time Girl Friday rolls around and some global crisis or (additional) natural disaster occurs, a sink hole swallows the pink dome, etc. you’ll know why I don’t mention it. I’m not clueless or insensitive, I’m just writing these on Sat-ur-day.

So here we go:

  • An opinion piece on why Bobby Jindal is no Nikki Haley, here. And other piece on how her stock is rising since leaving the Trump Administration. Does anyone else wonder if her “campaigning for his one…” remark could be as a potential VP pick?

  • Al Jazeera says the U.S. is behind when it comes to women in politics. Here.

  • The politics of men v. women in the ‘burbs. Where do you stand?

  • This article credits (now) Justice Kavanaugh with tipping the balance of SCOTUS clerks to majority-female.

  • Julie Oliver volunteers are well-canvassing my neighborhood. Did you know TX Congressional District 25 stretches from Central Austin all the way up to Fort Worth? That’s democracy my friends. Here’s a link the Austin Chronicle’s recent interview with Oliver.

  • Here’s a good reminder that “up” Isn’t always the best way to move in your career. It’s not a ladder it’s a jungle gym. Via Quartz.

  • Meet the first openly gay female CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Her first job was the very best. Spoiler it was shucking corn. Via Money. What was your first job? Mine was McDonald’s!

  • Are you a people pleaser? Even at work? Here’s an interesting argument for not giving away credit for your own good work. Perhaps one of the most uncomfortable things in the world. Via the Ladders. Also from the Ladders, how to surround yourself with supportive women.

  • And finally - just for fun, would you ever wear a full on hot pink suit? Here’s one that’s very affordable from JCP if it’s your thing a la Busy Philipps. Have you read her new book? It’s on my list!

Today Was a Strange Day
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As Slate says, Christine Blasey Ford fan art is the only good thing on the internet today. Whether you’re unpacking the Supreme Court nomination, scratching your head about allegations against certain members of the Texas Senate - it’s been a weird day and week.

If you’re struggling because someone did something to you once that’s flooding back during the news cycle, I hope you will be able to find reassurance in our system soon and most of all peace. Let’s everyone be kind to one another this weekend okay?

Senator Flake’s name no longer appears on the list of speakers for the Texas Tribune Festival this weekend. There are votes occurring and discussions to be had I suppose. Will you be attending the festival? There are so many great events lined up but I’ll likely be watching most via the live streams.

1st ReadingAmy WhitedComment
First Reading, 2018 vol. 18

Happy Friday. Will you be watching the Beto v. Cruz debate tonight? The Texas Tribune will be live streaming it here.

Until then, here are some recent morsels from the internet.

Our first Pink Granite Party is on Tuesday and I cannot wait to see so many of you there. Josephine House has put together a lovely menu for the small group we’ll have assembled and I’m so excited to put Pink Granite into motion live and in person.

Don’t forget - there is a newsletter to get updates on events, new interviews, etc. You can sign up at the bottom of every page on this site.

1st ReadingAmy WhitedComment
Allow Me to Reintroduce Myself...
Photo:    Medium

Photo: Medium

It’s been awhile and I’m fresh off the Beyonce and Jay Z concert in Houston this weekend. A lovely ladies weekend that has me feeling a little cooler, and perfecting my formation when no one is watching.

For those of you that are new here, Pink Granite is a little corner of the internet dedicated to encouraging and building up women working in and around the Texas Capitol. Politics, policy, journalism, event managers, fundraisers - we take all comers here as long as everyone is civil and promotes real discussion of how to get ahead and stay ahead. The goal is to post regular interviews with successful women with something to say. I learn something from each interview I post - and I myself have been doing this government affairs business for a little bit.

Here is some homework for us to all consider - I’d like to interview some men. Yes men. Men who encourage women who work for them, promote them, include them in the real work. Send your suggestions ladies! And as always send your suggestions for the women as well. Email

In recent news:

1st ReadingAmy WhitedComment
First Reading, 2018 vol. 17

Everyone wants to be Speaker and there's not a gal among them. This is 2018, I get it.

Regardless, there are some lovely men running and I wish them good luck - it's not for the faint of heart that's for sure. Plus many have amazing women behind them professionally and personally.

Earlier tonight I added a number of fundraising events to our online calendar, for the ladies who are running in November. Check that out here. Again - not anti-male candidate by any means but there are only so many hours in a day and I have to draw a bright pink line somewhere in what I dedicate time to post. So the ladies' get their fundraising events posted on le Pink Granite calendar.

1st ReadingAmy WhitedComment
First Reading, 2018 vol. 16
Photo via   here.

Photo via here.

It's Monday, the kids are back in school, everyone is home from their Alaskan cruises (don't pretend you didn't notice it's where the world goes now) and life as usual is about to resume. It's already fall in my head, just so you know.

If you're applying for Texas Lyceum - don't forget that your letters and application are due by the end of this week!

Here are some good bits from the many days since we've last convened:

Friday Snuck Up on Me...
Image source.

Image source.

I'm in New Orleans for the ALEC Meeting. You can learn more about that here, the meeting is in Austin next year. Last year I wrote a post about the meetings you should consider attending in the interim, I dropped the ball for 2018 but you can revisit the list here.

On my flight from Austin 458,982 of my closest friends in the #txlege were also on board. Only 54,991 jokes were made about "if this plane goes down..." 

But yes, here we are at Friday and it's been a week since we've been together. Someone at dinner last night recognized me from the blog and I got both incredibly excited and awkward all at the same time. So to her I'm sorry - she knows who she is and I hope she's still reading after meeting me one gin and tonic in.

I'm applying for a promotion at work and that's been the real time suck this week. I will legitimately sit in front of a cover letter for 5 hours. It's not my best quality, don't even ask how long it took me to update my resume. In related news, here's an interesting article on a few questions you should ask before saying yes to a promotion. Spoiler alert - I will say yes.

In all efforts to become Kate Middleton I've had my eye on the L.K. Bennett Sledge heel for years. Unfortunately I also spotted that $345 price tag. In yet another instance of the universe looking out for me - when I decided to finally pull the trigger, L.K. Bennett's shipping system in the US crashed. Or something. Regardless they cannot ship orders to me period. Never deterred, I started looking at department stores and other online retailers and stumbled on a pair from Poshmark that were floor samples and only $95. The downside here is that you cannot return them - but with some online research I read that this brand runs small and to order up a half size so I was prepared. They fit great, still had the tag on the bottom and actually to be new are wearing like a dream. I've tromped all over NOLA in them and there's barely even a dent in the heel tips. I love my Ann Taylor Mila heels (half off right now!) but I'm thinking there is something to be said about getting what you pay for.

Here's some real news:

I may dabble over the weekend but will for sure be back next week with a new interview (or two!).

First Reading, 2018 vol. 15
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It's August. Does that mean we can complain about the heat without sounding like jerks now? After my real job is done today I'll be putting together the next Pink Granite interview - August will be another 2 for 1 with a lady power couple in the Texas lobby. So keep an eye on the homepage for that - or even better subscribe to my newsletter and you'll get it a full 2 days to 2 hours early - depending on my mood.  The form to fill out to subscribe to my newsletter is lit ra lee at the bottom of every page on this website. No way to miss it.

Here's 12 things I found online this morning that I think you might enjoy as well.